Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Sack Man

In the wee hours of the night, when teenagers sneak out of their homes to party, or do nefarious things, awaits a horrible monster, barely spoken of today, but once in the forefront of young people’s minds in the 1930’s and 40’s.

Described as a large hulking lump of a man, covered in bloodstained flour sack clothing, that hid festering and rotten sores all over his grotesque body. On his head, sometimes another flour sack, other times, a hessian sack, always blood soaked, with roughly cut eye holes for him to see from.

 He walks with a limp, and has breath so rotten it smells as if he has just finished eating the corpses of the dead.
 In his hand, he carries a large blood soaked sack, dripping with body fluids from the eyes he just ripped out of some young kids head. A trophy of another child caught out past it's bedtime, killed and eaten.

 The Sack Man is pure evil and lurked through all the major cities of Australia, hunting down mischievous children out after their curfew.

 Often this story would be told to children during the war period in Australia, and possibly some of our older readers here on The Haunts of Adelaide, may remember it, or a variation of it, from their childhood. It was a “stranger danger” warning of sorts, or a warning to disobedient children who would sneak out at night for adventures.

 The Sack Man, who eventually became a monster that took children day or night, may have been a metaphorical warning for the children of the day, regarding the countless amount of child abductions happening throughout Australia during and after the second World War that were prolific and often high-profile right up too, and through the 1970's.

 The story evolved over time, and no longer was the Sack Man a monstrous night creature, he became a daytime lurker, a man in a suit watching in the park, following you home from school, or befriending you at the playground. A far scarier monster than a flour sack covered grotesque night stalker, an “every man” monster, who could be any man you crossed paths with day or night.

 In Adelaide this monster was realised in the form of the Beaumont children abduction and the abduction from Adelaide oval of Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon.

You can read about other countries versions of the Sack Man here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_Man

Have a version of The Sack Man story told to you by your parents? 
Why not share it with us over on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide/